You are here: Home / Events / [SCAN] Wastewater reuse for agriculture irrigation: mitigating the microbiological hazards

[SCAN] Wastewater reuse for agriculture irrigation: mitigating the microbiological hazards

Mónica Nunes
When Oct 27, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Contact Name Rita Abranches
Add event to calendar vCal

Title: Wastewater reuse for agriculture irrigation: mitigating the microbiological hazards

Speaker: Mónica Nunes

Abstract: Water scarcity is a global reality that in 2025 will affect 1.8 billion of people worldwide. Agriculture alone accounts for 70% consumption of Earth’s fresh water and by 2050 this demand will increase in 19% due to irrigation needs. Wastewater reuse in agriculture has several advantages, however in 2010, only 10% of all land irrigation was done using treated wastewater (reclaimed water). Wastewater reuse raises public health and environmental issues concerning its safety for the crop consumers, since it is known that wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are inefficient in the removal of emerging contaminants such as antibiotics (AB), antibiotic resistant bacteria/genes (ARB/ARG), and enteric viruses. Furthermore, WWTP are pointed out as potential hotspots for proliferation and dissemination of AB resistance, where the pathogenic bacteria can find the necessary conditions to transmit AB resistance to environmental strains, creating new resistant bacteria that will reach the environment, and human population.

Therefore, with the development of AgriWWater project we intend to stimulate the wastewater reuse for agriculture irrigation by mitigating the microbiological risk. The project main goals are to: 1) clarify the role of WWTP on AB resistance proliferation and dissemination of pathogenic viruses into the environment, 2) develop and optimize molecular techniques that will allow an accurate safety evaluation of the untreated and treated wastewater 3) optimize and apply new efficient treatment processes to wastewater that, in the future, can be transferred to the industry and 4) evaluate the safety of red fruits irrigated with the produced water. 

Thus, AgriWWater contributes to the development of a sustainable agriculture system by promoting an efficient and safe use of water resources, with the reutilization of reclaimed water, thus closing the urban water cycle.